‘Community Engagement’ in the public sector is often driven by a reforming government agenda and is meant to be a two-way process, with organisations benefiting from the imagination and energy of local citizens. Anne Torreggiani finds out that the extra dimension we have in the cultural sector is that what we have to offer is personally fulfilling and, frankly, more fun. It is about people’s creativity and learning, not just their involvement as well-behaved citizens.
Community Engagement is one way of addressing these challenges, but as the Generate study reveals, workers could be better supported. In particular, they need colleagues to understand more about their work, to recognise specialist skills, the sensitivities of the process, and the time (years) and resources needed to make a real impact.
Workers do not fit neatly into institutional departments (marketing,education, front-of-house, etc.) – or skill sets – and so traditional ‘silo’ ways of working frustrate the process.